STEP/FEEDER: Strategic Expansion to Achieve GEARED Goals

Grants and Contracts Details


The Foundation for Engineering Education in Distributed Energy Resources (FEEDER) Consortium was established under contract DE-FOA-0000856 of the GEARED (Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Deployment) program in the fall of 2013. FEEDER consisted of seven universities (University of Central Florida, University of Kentucky, University of Arkansas, Auburn University, Florida State University, University of South Carolina, and University of Florida), eight utilities, eight industry partners, and two national labs (NREL and LANL). As one of the three GEARED Distributed Technology Training Consortia (DTTCs), FEEDER undertakes research, curriculum development, education and training activities aiming at widespread adoption of distributed renewable energy resources and deployment of smart grid technologies (see Over the last one and a half years, FEEDER has developed and implemented a unique and effective workforce development and training model focused on industry input to curriculum, cross-institutional course development and sharing, cross-institutional research seminars and activities, and student seminars and workshops. In short, this FEEDER model of university-utility, multi-institutional collaborations has been performing successfully in reaching its educational, research and training goals. The proposed concept under the STEP FOA is to strategically expand this unique and innovative program and use the STEP funding to scale up the educational, professional-training and student activities as well as more effectively meet the workforce challenges that face the electric utility industry nationwide. FEEDER will go from a regional consortium to a national consortium with STEP funding. This proposed expansion aims at providing a more impactful and truly nation-wide consortium to help DOE achieve goals of the SunShot initiative by realizing the following improvements: 1) Expand the reach of GEARED program to include currently under-represented regions that are critical to renewable and smart grid deployment in the nation: California, Hawaii, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas (table 2 lists the new members of STEP/FEEDER expansion); 2) Enable students and faculty to learn and integrate the unique technical issues experienced in the western states, Texas and the Hawaiian Islands, especially in the operations of high solar penetration microgrids; 3) Innovate course development and offering processes so the successful FEEDER model becomes scalable with respect to the numbers of institutions and students and the developed contents could be used in any of educational institutions in the country; 4) Further advance university-utility interactions by engaging utility engineers through university-utility workshops and research collaborations; 5) Implement additional higher-level learning components so our students can gain first-hand experiences in renewable integration and smart grid through integrated training of coop/internships and course work as well as research and student projects. In the addition to becoming a nationwide consortium, the proposed STEP/GEARED FEEDER project will nearly double its size. The number of its utility partners will be doubled, the number of students served will be doubled, and the expected outcomes (measured in terms of shared courses and their offerings, etc.) will be doubled. The STEP funding would enable us to reach our goals of expanding the consortium, further enhancing the quality of our programs, and achieving a nationwide impact for the GEARED program. This will be accomplished by implementing a set of innovations that address the scalability issues arising from a larger number of universities and utility/industry partners. Indeed, the STEP funding will be primarily directed toward the new FEEDER members and implementation of the proposed innovations.
Effective start/end date4/1/167/31/19


  • University of Central Florida: $27,069.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.